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Women making porn

When I first started spanking modelling in 2006, it was pretty hard to find studios to work for that were run by women. Most hobbyist and professional erotic photographers are male, and in the UK, there were very few spanking sites which were solely owned by a woman - in fact, there still aren't many. (Off the top of my head, I can only think of Sam Johnson's Diaries and Strictly Miss Brown, although there are probably others. I expect that several of the F/M sites are run by their female star, but having not worked for any of them I'm less well informed. The F/M sites I do have accurate information about are run by a man behind the scenes.)

As a female model, it was immediately noticable that all the people hiring me were male. It's interesting to speculate why this might be. Some of it can be put down to the patriarchal history of porn in general - but there are surely other factors, too. One that occurs to me is that women who wish to make a living from kink have the option of offering private sessions, doing parties, or performing for stills or video. There are fewer opportunities for men to earn money doing work of this sort, so if they want to blend business and pleasure they must needs be photographers, technicians or site owners.

As our culture shifts towards more women wanting to watch porn and seeking porn which caters to their desires, not only will more women start filling this gap in the market, but as they provide more hiring opportunities for male models, men who would prefer to work as kinky performers for other people will have more option of doing so.

What you can see in the UK, at present, is spanking sites run jointly by a man and a woman. Of these Northern Spanking was of course the first, and one of the reasons they are so groundbreaking is that in general Lucy is in charge of the the filming side of things, with Paul handling the web side of the business. Lucy McLean was the first female producer/director I shot with, and any female producers creating spanking porn in the UK will to some extent be following in her footsteps.

Bars and Stripes, another spanking site that breaks the mould (with the same warm, caring, friendly vibe behind the scenes as NSI, and the unusual step of an ongoing story arc with recurring characters) was co-founded by a male/female team, although since Leia Ann Woods left the project it has been run solely by Michael Stamp. Lady Sonia's sites are also co-run by her and her husband. Partly because of Sonia's close involvement behind the scenes, working for them had a different atmosphere to the sites solely run by older, dominant men.

Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with men running spanking sites. Most of the gents I've worked for have been lovely people, have taken good care of me and some of them have become real friends. But I think that the lack of diversity at the producer/director/owner level is one of the reasons that many people feel that a lot of spanking porn, especially traditional English M/F which belongs to the heritage of the classic early magazines, has become "samey" over the last few years. If most of the /F sites are owned by straight, toppy white men of a certain age then that is surely a factor in the tendency of the industry as a whole to follow certain trends.

Nor are women a magic fix. I like variety in porn, and I think it's healthy for any creative industry to be shaken up every so often, by new ideas and new approaches. For instance, I'd like to see more bisexual men running sites outside the gay niche, and more people of colour working in spanking porn at the producer/director level; and I think male switches could broaden the horizons of /F porn as well. After all, porn viewers include women, switches, bisexuals, people of colour - why not porn makers, too?

If you don't agree with my premise that diversity in cultures is a positive thing in general, you may not see the need for more equality in this or any other industry. But I do, at a fundamental level, think it's good for us as humans to encounter a variety of ideas and perspectives on the world, and that our philosophy and creativity will be improved as a result. At the same time, I think that consumers of creative arts are more likely to find personal meaning and relevance in works created by people similar to them, so in order to appeal to a diverse consumer base you need diversity among producers. And given the sexist history of gender politics and pornography in this country until quite recently, I think greater equality at the producer level will improve the experience of both male and female performers.

The good news is that over the last decade, more and more women have started making the porn they want to see. This is particularly evident in the US, where the spanking scene includes not only male/female teams like Eve and Tony of Shadowlane, Chelsea and Larry of Good Spanking (I've always admired Chelsea's outspokenly affirming and kink-positive mission) and David and Pixie of Punished Brats, but also women running sites independently. Clare Fonda has probably been going the longest, but more recently we've seen Dana Specht join the ranks of female tops running their own websites, and Audrey Knight is currently preparing to launch her own spanking venture after starring in a collection of sites owned by the Spanking Digest.

Over the last three years, female bottoms (and bottom-leaning switches) are starting to come into their own as site owners, too. Sarah Gregory's site has been going for a year now and I am a big fan of her varied, in-depth, believable storylines, and the range of moods you can find in her scenarios, from edgy punishments to consensual erotic spanking and light-hearted comedy scenes. Speaking of erotic spanking, Sinn Sage and Amber Dawn have both put themselves on the map with their consistently sexy explicit spanking, and although I don't know for sure how much control they have behind the scenes, both performers trade on the fact that the scenarios represent their personal fantasies and desires.

As more women get involved in production/direction, we're seeing increasing numbers of real couples explore their sexuality on camera: Ten Amorette has just launched her own clips for sale store in which she takes hard punishment from her partner, and kinky couple Maggie and Ned Mayhem have just launched their hardcore nerd sex site. Beyond pure CP, we're seeing kinky performers like Penny Barber follow in the footsteps of Zille Defeu in producing BDSM porn catering to their own fetishes; and the queer/dyke porn movement has had women at the top from the very beginning, from Courtney Trouble to Shine Louise Houston, Madison Young and Tristan Taormino.

Anna Span led the way twelve years ago as the first English woman to launch her own successful porn brand, following in the footsteps of Candida Royalle and Annie Sprinkle in the US. In Europe Petra Joy, Maria Beatty and Erika Lust have all made their mark, as have other directors across the world, such as Louise Lush in Australia. But in terms of women making adult films without a man running things behind the scenes, the UK still doesn't boast as many big names. Surely there must be women making porn in the UK, running clips stores and small-scale productions - and please do send me links to any you know of, as I'd love to fill the gaps in my knowledge! But if so, not many of them have made the news, and very few of them seem to be in spanking.

One exception is the female star of SpankingSarah. She doesn't run the site herself; it's produced by the Red Stripe/English Spankers team, headed by Peter Kaye. But I think it's telling that Peter decided to make his latest venture so personality-driven, with Sarah having a prominent voice on the site and taking a leading role in the writing and promotion, and no doubt being involved behind the scenes as well. It's good to see that some male producers are starting to recognise the appeal and value of woman-led porn. But the most exciting up-and-coming female kink producer in the UK, in my opinion, is Nimue Allen.

Nimue is currently preparing her own site, Nimue's World, for launch, and having filmed for it I can't wait to see the finished product. Like me, Nimue is poly, bisexual, into dominance/submission, and her kinks span the boundary of CP/spanking and BDSM. She's a switch, which gives her even more potential for variety. Nimue has taken the step from performing for other people to producing the sort of kinky porn she wants to see, with an inclusive ethos that deliberately merges the spanking and BDSM genres. I'm really excited about the launch of Nimue's World, and hope that rather than competing, our two sites can promote and help each other along the way.

It takes a bit of research to discover the rich history female-produced porn has across the globe, and quite how many female producers/directors there are out there; but once you do, you realise that this is a great time to be a woman making porn. I'm proud to be part of this exciting legacy, and to follow in the footsteps of these groundbreaking, courageous sex-positive and kinky businesswomen. The US spanking industry already has no shortage of woman-owned sites, and given time I have every confidence that the gender balance will become truly equal.

Given spanking has such a strong association with the UK as "the English vice", and such an active CP scene in which so many women take leading roles as event organisers and hosts, it's high time that our web and film industry caught up.

Comments

Thank you!

Wow, what can I say to such kind comments!! I guess when I made the decision to start my own website it was after working with a lot of different producers, on BDSM, CP and fetish sites - I wanted to put together everything I'd learnt from them to create something of my own. One of my biggest "eye opener" moments as a model was my first time working with Lucy and Paul of Northern Spanking - and seeing that there was more to spanking movies than just 10 - 15 min clips which focus on the act of spanking more than what's going through the characters heads.

I do think that the current trend (across most genres of porn, as far as I'm able to tell) for more performer led productions is a positive thing, especially in showing the world that we are not beaten down and forced into the things we do, but it is a positive choice we have made about what we want to do.

Hey you, thanks for stopping by :) I know what you mean about working with NSI being an eye opener. They are true pioneers in terms of the range of their plots, the depths of their characters and the ease with which they switch between - or even combine - humour and intensity. If other models who have worked with them are inspired to start producing spanking porn themselves, that will be no bad thing :)

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